Internet and mobile outages in Rotorua yesterday were caused by a fibre cable cut during roadworks at the Ngongotahā roundabout.
According to Spark's website, internet services were cut to Okere Falls, Ngakuru, Murupara, Mamaku, Owhata, Hamurana Rd, Kāingaroa Forest, Kawerau and Galatea at 1.40pm.
There was also a mobile outage in Ngongotahā, Hamurana and Mamaku. The Lakes District Health Board posted on Facebook that its Covid-19 immunisations booking line was unavailable due to the Spark outage.
Today, Spark corporate relations partner Elle Dorset told the Rotorua Daily Post customers in the Bay of Plenty region experienced a loss of service due to a fibre cut between Tauranga and Rotorua.
"The damage, which occurred at 1.40pm was caused when roading contractors accidentally cut the fibre cable while completing roadworks at the intersection of SH5 and SH36," she said.
"Worsening weather in the area delayed repairs, however, services were restored just after 6pm."
Dorset said during a fibre outage, whether it is due to a human error, as in this case when a digger cut a cable, or natural event such as flooding, Spark worked hard to get services back up and running as quickly as possible.
"This includes actively working with Downer and/or Chorus technicians to identify the location and severity of damage to the fibre network as well as assessing how long services will be impacted and deploying temporary measures if required," she said.
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency confirmed a cable was damaged by contractors on Monday and blamed a "loop" in the cable on the incident.
Regional Manager Infrastructure Delivery, Jo Wilton said the loop "entered the corner of the works."
"All services are located using ground penetrating radar before work commences and our contractors undertake physical investigations at regular intervals. In this case, the cable had a loop, which then entered the corner of the works.
"This was not expected as the remainder of the cable was outside the proposed works.
"When a situation like this arises, our contractors make contact with the relevant service provider as soon as possible and provide whatever assistance they are able to, to ensure it is repaired as quickly as possible."
Wilton said contractors provided on-site support to the service provider to expedite the repair and it was fixed within two hours. It was not expected to cause any delays to the roundabout works.
Meanwhile, in a separate incident, power was cut to 187 Unison customers at different stages yesterday afternoon.
Unison relationship manager Danny Gough said there were three separate outages affecting Rotorua customers.
"It really was caused by what we call a tripping on the network, so not a pole or a line down, or anything like that," he said.
"We then sent fault teams out to physically eyeball and patrol the line. Typically a job like this could be anything from a damaged cross arm or an insulator, a branch, or a bird.
"We didn't find anything, so we did further trippings to see if it would help clear things off. We've installed temporary fault indicators which will help us narrow it down if a fault occurs again."
The first outage was at 1.41pm, it was back by 1.57pm but tripped again at 2.28pm. Fifty customers were affected when it tripped again at 5.40pm but all were restored by 7pm.
"We don't anticipate there is any significant issue there, it may just be something transient in nature that happened at the time, especially considering the weather there," Gough said.
"It would've been very frustrating for people and we do appreciate their patience."